We are delighted to introduce the new smart LED dimmers from Varilight - the WiFi Smart LED dimmers and the Multi-way Smart LED dimmers, all available via SparksDirect.co.uk! Some time ago we were introducing the LED lights and the LED lighting technology, but there was no way to dim them unless a dimming module was purchased separately. Then, the LED dimmers came along, with buzzing noises and flickering lights. As the lighting and dimming technology has developed, there are now simple LED dimming modules such as the JP250P from Varilight that can safely and smoothly dim the LED lamps (as long as these are dimmable). Taking a further step, the versatility of the V-Pro LED dimming technology from Varilight has been further enlarged to include Wifi LED dimmers and multi-way LED dimmers. Introducing the Varilight Wifi Dimmers - Smart LED DimmingVarilight is at the forefront of LED dimming technology, and their LED dimmers are trusted by most of the leading LED lighting manufacturers. All the versatility of the Varilight V-Pro LED dimming technology is now so advanced that it includes the Varilight Wifi LED dimmers - smart LED dimming! You can now control your LED lights via your phone without the need to install any device in the home - simply by changing the LED dimming module to the new Varilight Wifi LED dimmer. Here are some of the smart LED dimming features of the Varilight Wifi Dimmers. You can dim your LED lights with a phone, or tablet, or using the V-pro smart LED dimmer itself and the free Supla App.When you're away, you can use "control at home" with "Wifi connection" or "Away" using your mobile phone's 4G or 5G data connection and your free Supla Cloud account. No need for any extra devices to install and pair up, no need for extra wiring or hub - simply replace your existing dimmer or switch with a Varilight V-pro smart dimmer.Smart LED dimming works with Amazon Alexa and with Google Home.If you install the Master Wifi LED Dimmer, you can use it as a 2-way LED dimmer to be controlled via the app, a smart device, or the phone. If you want to do multi-way dimming, you can order the Wifi Companion Controllers for dimming one circuit of lights from max. 3 locations.Simply install the smart LED dimmer module into any of the existing plates to make it smarter. Full instructions for setting up the smart WiFi LED dimmer from Varilight are available here.At Sparks we sell the Varilight JQSM101W 1 Gang Varilight V-Pro Smart Master WiFi 100W LED Dimmer (2-Way with Supplementary Controller) in White Plastic with Easy Setup via Supla App. This item is already on a raised white moulded plate, but if you require just the LED dimming module, this one is available also. Multi-way LED Dimming - Dim the LED Lights from up to 3 Locations!The technology for dimming the same set of LED lights from more than one location is now here! Tested, approved, and working wonderfully, this technology is brought to you by Varilight with its non-WIFI smart LED dimmers. It is still smart LED dimming, but it is not Wi-Fi enabled. The way it works is as follows: there is one master Varilight V-Pro smart LED dimmer (0-100W), and when used by itself, it works as a 2-way dimmer, but if you add up to two companion Smart LED Dimmers, it works as a multi-way LED dimmer. You can dim the same lighting circuit from up to three locations when used with up to two companion LED dimmers. Let's say you're in bed and you want to dim the LED lights from the bed - you can simply twist the dimmer knob (which is a companion smart LED dimmer paired with the master smart LED dimmer next to the door) and it is done. If you have a dining room or living room where you want to be able to both switch ON/OFF and dim the LED lights from three locations (by the door, from one end of the room, and from the other end of the room), this can be easily done with the Varilight Smart LED dimmers (non-wifi). Here are some of the smart features of these LED dimmers:V-Pro Smart Control for intuitive dimmingTraditional rotary dimming with Multi-Way operation when used with supplementary controllersFull dimming control from up to 3 dimmer locationsSimplified programming system for easy setupNo need for wi-fi connection, app installation, or mobile phone use. Simply replace the existing LED dimmer module with the smart LED dimmer from Varilight. Dim a LED lighting load of 0-100W (max. 10 LED lamps) from one, two, or three locations in the same room.You can purchase these smart LED dimmers - the Master Smart LED Dimmer and the Companion Smart LED Dimmer - made by Varilight at Sparks.
We live in the age of smart devices - more and more smart devices are available on the market, and you can see some of them via our dedicated page. And it is now even easier to remotely dim your LED lights via an app on your smartphone vith Varilight! We are not talking merely about the V-pro range of smart and intelligent range of LED dimmers which detect the LED lighting load. No, we're speaking of the new Varilight V-pro Smart Supla dimmers which work with with your Android smartphone. It's as easy as installing an app, sync-ing the app with the wall-mounted dimmer, renaming the dimmer, and then remotely dimming, switching ON or switching OFF your LED lamps! About the Varilight V-Pro Smart Supla Dimmer Switches If you look at these dimmer switches, they look like any other - there doesn't seem to be anything different outwardly. However, what is different is the smart innards. The Varilight V-Pro Smart Intelligent Programmable Rotary/Wifi control dimmer switch is what the full title says - it is smart, it dims LED lamps, it is rotary, it connects to WiFi, and it works with 1-circuits. For a 2-circuit or multi-way circuits it is recommended to use a V-Pro Smart Master Dimmer with one or more supplementary controllers. This particular smart dimmer we're introducing right now has the following specs: It is suitable for dimmable mains and low voltage LED lamps. It takes 1-10 dimmable LEDs or max. 120W load. It is recommended to check your LED lamps if they are suitable for use with dimmers that have a standby mode. If they don't, a load regulator may be required, such as Varilight Glowfix. It can switch and dim most dimmable LEDs It is not suitable for non-dimmable fluorescent bulbs and tubes, wire-wound or toroidal transformers, or electric motors. It has overload protection: if an overload occurs, it will automatically turn off until the overload is removed and the dimmer is switched off and then switched on back again. It works with and can be controlled by an app which can be downloaded from the Google Playstore. It can be operated remotely via an app, after it is properly set up. Set up the Varilight V-Pro Smart intelligent Programmable Rotary/WiFi Control DimmerswitchWe would recommend watching the video put out by Varilight - see the embedded video below - to have a quick guide for setting up the Varilight V-Pro Smart Supla dimmers with an Android device. First of all, the dimmer has to be installed on the wall by a qualified and registered electrician, and there are wiring diagrams available (see the product link) for wiring instructions. The main steps to be taken to set this smart LED dimmer are: Connect your dimmer: download the supla app from the google playstore; it shouldn't take more than a few seconds to search for it and download it. The direct link is here. Open the app, register with a username and password, check your email to confirm, and get all set up. Set up the dimmer: from the Supla app, add a new device, give all the permissions requested, enter the home wifi connection, and then pair the phone app with the dimmer. This needs to be done only initially, for the settings will remain saved after that. Once the dimmer is paired, the blue light is continual; when it is not paired, the blue light is flashing. Once the phone is connected to the dimmer, there's a steady blue light on the dimmer and a steady green light in the app. Name your dimmer and control it: simply hold down the name of the dimmer and rename it, and name the location it is in. You can now control the lights from your phone, and you can use either the wheel or the slider to dim up/down, and an on/off button. It is so simple, isn't it? And once the dimmer is set up and running, you have the app to see whether it is ON or OFF, and you can remotely control it via WiFi. You can purchase this Varilight V-Pro Smart intelligent Programmable Rotary/WiFi Control Dimmerswitch on our website here. Wiring instructions and installation manuals can also be found on our website.
Everyone in the know will tell you that LEDs will dominate the lighting world, having made their proper breakthrough in recent years. However, there remains the problem of ‘retrofitting’ dimming LEDs, wherein consumers are looking to swap their CFLs and traditional incandescent bulbs to dimmable LEDs. The problem of retrofitting dimming LED lighting It is no wonder today’s consumers are looking to buy LEDs over CFLs, which have off-putting and unseemly designs. And as for traditional incandescents, who would choose to pay so much more in energy bills if they could just make the switch and help the environment in the process? Especially since now LEDs have been designed in many cases to resemble traditional incandescent bulbs. A big problem with the LED ‘revolution’ was the switchover to LED dimmer lights. However, companies such as Varilight and MK Electrics stepped in to make a huge variety of new dimmers for the swathe of LED lights that were being produced. Dimming Retrofit LED Lamps - 9 General Rules 1. Ensure that you are purchasing an LED light that is compatible with your existing LED dimmer. It is a common misconception that every single LED light can be dimmed. It is essential to choose lamps that the manufacturer has described explicitly as ‘dimmable’ in their literature. 2. Stick to recognised brands. Unfortunately, many manufacturers are all too happy to incorrectly label their lights as ‘dimmable’. This is mainly due to a lack of an industry standard that establishes a precedent for dimmable LED drivers. We would heartily recommend choosing from the most established lighting manufacturers. Setting dimming considerations aside, bigger names are more likely to offer you better warranties, longer lamp lifetimes, and more customer support. In this article, we discuss three Manufacturers who made reliable dimmer compatible LEDs: Varilight, MK Electric, Danlers, and Lutron, though there are many more who do the job well. This article discusses the issue in more detail. Varilight's various ranges of 'V-Pros' are recognised for their silent operation and programmable intelligent functionality, for instance, the ever-popular Varilight JQP252W, which can be purchased here. 3. Do read the label. The brightness range of a bulb must be considered carefully if you are replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED, as it may not be worth your while. This is due to the great advancement in the number of lumens produced by LED bulbs, which have achieved halogen-mimicking ‘white light’ type of looks. Some LED bulbs can produce as much as 100 lumens per Watt. So, if you are using a vintage LED lamp that is emulating the old-school low lighting of traditional bulbs, then LED dimmers shouldn't be of any concern to you; you’ll be sticking to a single dim light anyway! 4. Ask Manufacturers about Compatibility Most renowned lighting brands will publish data on their websites concerning compatibility when it comes to switching light types. Dimmer switches have been tested to discover what type of lights they will be compatible with, when looking at loads, lamp performance and so on. These trustworthy manufacturers will give grades, or even a compatibility guide, as a useful reference point which can help considerably when choosing a dimmer for your LED. This can be ultimately confusing when navigating international sites that do not use the same grading standard. If you are in any doubt you should contact the company to ask for their recommendation for a light switch. 5. Don't use a standard dimmer Some lamp manufacturers state that LEDs don't need a specialised dimmer and that a standard dimmer will do the trick: don’t be fooled! The LED technology is advancing, but we are not there yet: even though the likes of Megaman come out with LEDs that can be dimmed with both a trailing-edge and leading-edge dimmers, we cannot yet recommend using a regular dimmer for LED lamps. Standard dimmers tend to be under-loaded in most LED applications, leading to unpleasant flickering and strobing effects, which dramatically reduce the lamps lifetime. Standard dimmers are never even equipped to exploit the full brightness range of an LED bulb like a specialised remote could do. 6. Choose a dimmer designed for LED lighting The most top of the range, sophisticated dimmers will likely deliver the best possible performance you can expect from your LED light. Some, such as Varilight’s LED Dimmer have several dimmer modes that enable you to gracefully dim across the various and diverse driver technologies across the entire market. Another advantage of this dimmer is that it accounts for the difference in maximum brightness between brands. This means you have an easily adjustable minimum brightness setting that will enable you to harness the full brightness potential of your lamp. The adjustable minimum brightness also ensures that a lamp will not experience the flickering, malfunctioning behaviour outlined in point 5. 7. Don’t buy your lights without first selecting a Dimmer Don’t buy your lights without first selecting a Dimmer - make sure your LED light is dimmable! See the Integral LED Ciclo LED Outdoor Wall Light 11W, to be purchased here. Like all dimmer switches, those designed specifically for LED lighting have a minimum and maximum load recommendation. Your lighting installation should be designed in a manner that means you don’t exceed the maximum load of dimmers available. Dividing the load across more than one dimmer could provide you with a brilliant solution by giving you great light control levels that can be zoned within a multi-functional space. Until very recently it was problematic to find a dimmer that was capable of controlling upwards of 100W of LED lighting. However, the launch of Varilight’s V-Com series has opened the door for potentially much larger loads - upwards of 600W. 8. Do read the Instruction Leaflet Don’t rush with your LED dimmer switch as you may be missing out on a lot of fun! LED dimmers come with features solely intended to enhance their performance, but this may require a little bit of programming first. For instance, with Varilight’s V-Pro remote control dimmers, there is are enhanced scene-setting features, unlocked through the innovative ‘LightScene’ handset. Many manufacturers have ‘how to’ videos featured on their website. 9. Dispose of your old lights Responsibly When it comes to old, still-functioning halogen lights, you need to throw them away or recycle them. You can find more information on doing this here. Never throw CFLs into your general waste as they contain dangerous mercury. Further information on this topic (and inspiration for our article): LED lighting information (via the guardian) The best LED dimmers for your LED lights (via sparks blog) Varilight LED dimming and dimmable LED guide (via varilight) Top picture credit: here.
One of the most common questions our customers ask us when it comes to light fittings is, Can this lamp take LED lights? and the next question immediately follows, Can I dim this LED? Using an LED lamp in a light fitting seems to not be enough - now we need to make sure we dim the LEDs! The LED technology is in a continual development and improving, and there are better and higher output LED lamps in all the available lamp caps (including ES/E27, GU10, MR16, BC, etc) being put out at least once every two months. Many of the LED lamps are dimmable (though they are a bit more expensive than the non-dimmable ones), and here's where problems come in: what dimmer works with this LED lamp? Not every LED dimmer works with every LED lamp, but there are some who are tested and recommended by most LED lighting manufacturers. Part of these are the Varilight V-Pro range (earlier introduced here, with the video for setting up and customizing the LED dimmer), and today we would like to introduce another LED dimmer module: the Hamilton Litestat LEDstat. Intelligent LED Dimmer from Hamilton Litestat Hamilton’s new intelligent LED dimming device monitors and programs itself for best performance depending on the LED lamp used, making it compatible with a wide variety of branded lamp types. The LEDstat dimmer is available in a wide selection of Hamilton’s range of styles and finishes.The LEDstat from Hamilton Litestat is a 5-100W electronic On/OFF auto detect intelligent LED dimmer module, a "Universal Grid LED Dimmer" that can easily replace the existing dimmer switch or regular switch.This LED dimmer resolves the compatibility issues between LEDs and dimmers - it is an intelligent LED dimming device which monitors and programmes itself for the best performance (depending on the LED light bulb used).Note: this LED dimmer is no longer available via Sparks; see our current offering for LED dimmers. It is compatible with a wide variety of LED lamp types, and it has already made its mark while undergoing independent testing. Here is what some of testers had to say about the LEDstat from Hamilton, "This new dimmer has been developed in response to a common industry problem of operational performance compatibility issues between the LED lamps used and a conventional dimmer. The last thing a contractor needs is to be called back to a recently installed job to resolve these, costing him both time and money! Our research and development process has ensured that LEDstat’s design and performance delivery is second to none. We are confident that this is a truly revolutionary piece of technology – one we are proud to bring to market." (Ian Hamilton, managing director of Hamilton Litestat) "This dimmer is truly the first product we have seen that provides constant results with all branded lamps tested." (Jeremy Turner, FAB Controls Ltd) LEDstat from Hamilton - Resolving compatibility issues between LEDs and dimmers (via, The Electrical Portal) "This new innovation by Hamilton has already made its mark while undergoing independent testing" (via, Connecting Industry) "LEDstat delivers optimum dimming performance when the same brand of LED lamp is used" (via, Lighting News) LED-STAT nominated for the awards in 2014 (via, Luckins Live) LEDstat from Hamilton makes the finals of the Electrical Industry Awards in 2014! (via, Total Lighting Magazine) Ian Hamilton, LEDstat InterviewWhat is so special about this LED dimmer? Here are some of its smart features: This LED dimmer is "phase adaptive", which means that it thinks before it acts. It comes with an integrated sophisticated microprocessor that analyses the connected LEDs and determines the best dimming curve necessary to achieve maximum performance. No need to set it up to obtain the best performance: the LED dimmer sets itself up! When this LED dimmer is installed and is first powered up, the LEDstat begins its analysis and emits a short series of audible beeps to confirm when the process is complete. Similar size and design to a standard dimmer / switch module, allowing you to easily replace your existing dimmer with the highly performant LEDstat. It can be mounted onto the same wide choice of faceplate designs and finishes, and with the help of a little kit (which needs to be ordered separately, see GRIDKITW), you can safely fit this LED module into most Hamilton, MK, BG, Crabtree, Schneider, DETA, Hager, Wandsworth grid ranges. Soft Start: the soft start of this LED dimmer extends the LED lamp life and comes with a min/max level setting, an auto manual dimmer model, a multiway dimming operation, and in 1-4 gang options. Compatible with multiple kinds of light sources like incandescent lamps, mains halogen, mains dimmable LED lamps, dimmable LV electronic transformers, and dimmable LED lamps. Intelligent LED dimmer module: besides being a "universal grid LED module", this LEDstat dimmer allows you to dim from 5-100W load of LED lights, and can work both with leading edge and with trailing edge LED lamps. When replacing a LED lamp, don't worry about it: LEDstat will automatically determine the best dimming curve necessary to achieve maximum performance to suit the new brand mix. And what's best, you experience smooth dimming yet without any mains noise or acoustic noise when in operation! Did we mention that this LED dimmer sells like "hot bread" in our showroom via the counter? You can also purchase the LEDstat dimmer module from Sparks here; watch the LED start up guide video via youtube below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPfxHWiGeko
Varilight is a very much praised and appreciated brand especially because of its great LED dimmer switches, and recently they put out some videos via their Varilight TV channel on YouTube. Watch the video below and see the step-by-step instructions for the Varilight V-Pro dimmers - switching between trailing edge and leading edge modes, and then returning to the factory settings. The Varilight V-Pro dimmers are set to run in trailing-edge mode (MODE 1) by default. This versatile mode is suitable for most types of lighting, including many dimmable LEDs. It is also "gentler" on the load (this is MODE 3). An alternative trailing-edge mode (MODE 3) may improve the performance of some dimmable LEDs and dimmable CFLs. Some other lighting loads, including some types of LED lights, perform best with leading-edge control. This dimmer can also be set to run in leading edge (see MODE 2). Changing the driving mode between trailing edge (MODE 1) and leading edge (MODE 2) Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise) Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off. Step 4. To select MODE 2, turn the know fully anti-clockwise. The lights will flash two times. This will show that the dimmer has been set to MODE 2. The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode. To return the dimmer to MODE 1, follow the same procedure again. The light will flash once. This will show the dimmer has returned to MODE 1. Changing the driving mode between trailing edge (MODE 1) and alternative trailing edge (MODE 3)Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise). Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off. Step 4. To select MODE 3, turn the know fully anti-clockwise then fully clockwise. The lights will flash three times. This will show that the dimmer has been set to MODE 3. The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode. To return the dimmer to MODE 1, follow the same procedure again. The light will flash once. This will show the dimmer has returned to MODE 1. Adjusting the minimum brightnessThe minimum brightness setting of the Varilight V-Pro dimmer can be adjusted to achieve the optimum dimming range for a particular load. If your lights are flickering when they are dimmed to a low level, you can increase the minimum brightness of the dimmer, which may prevent this from happening. If the lights are brighter than you would like when the dimmer is set to a minimum, you can try reducing the minimum brightness setting of the dimmer. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MINIMUM brightness setting (turn fully anti-clockwise). Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off. Step 4. Turn the knob fully clockwise. As soon as the lights come on, start to adjust the minimum brightness, then leave at the desired level. After 3 seconds, the new setting will be saved. Step 5. Now continue to use the dimmer as normal, with the new minimum brightness. Resetting the Varilight V-Pro LED Dimmer How can we reset the dimmer? The dimmer can be reset to its factory settings, and this will restore the driving mode to the trailing edge (MODE 1) and default minimum brightness setting. Step 1. Switch on and set the dimmer knob to the MAXIMUM brightness setting (turn fully clockwise). Step 2. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). Step 3. The lights will step up and down in brightness to show that the dimmer is in CONFIGURATION MODE, then go off. Step 4. Turn the lights OFF and back ON three times: OFF-ON-OFF-ON-OFF-ON (leaving approx. 1 second between presses). The light will come ON and dim down to OFF indicating a successful factory reset. Then the light will flash once showing the dimmer has returned to default MODE 1 (trailing edge). The dimmer can now be operated normally in the new mode.
More and more of our customers are preferring the LED lights to the halogen or fluorescent lights, and most of those looking for LED lights want to dim them. Using an LED light bulb is energy saving enough, and dimming it will make it even more energy saving. The LED lights and LED light bulbs are being constantly developed and improved, with more and more "dimmable LED lights" available on the market from reputable manufacturers. However, there seems to be a problem when it comes to dimming the LED lights: who does LED dimmers that would work across the different existing LED lights that can be dimmed? Some of the Best Manufacturers of LED Dimmers are... There are at least three main manufacturers we distribute that can offer effective LED light dimmers: Varilight came out with their V-Pro Eclique range of LED dimmers, offering one or more touch LED dimmers on a flat plate for remote dimming the LED lights. They come with a tactile touch button with a blue LED glow surrounding it, and they pride of dimming mains voltage, ESL's, GU10, and almost all low voltage applications, as well as most good quality dimmable LEDs. The V-Pro Eclique 1G - 4G (both the master and the slave units) are flying off the shelf since many people prefer to have a high-quality LED dimmer that allows you to dim the lights both from one location or from multiple locations. The question is: will this work with ALL the dimmable LED ights out there? MK Electric also has a wide range of new LED dimmers for a wide variety of LED lamps, assuring us they offer a reliable dimming solution and allowing us to create an ambiance for comfortable surroundings. You can have either a standalone regular 1 Gang or 2 Gang rotary dimmers or as a MK grid dimmer, both compatible with tungsten filament lamps, low voltage halogen lamps, and dimmable LED lamps. With a load of 4W - 70W (300W/240VA), these MK LED dimmers can take maximum 10 lamps per circuit and have an intelligent load protection that will prevent lamp wattage exceeding the rating of the dimmer. Danlers offers a few LED dimmers and LED dimmer units such as DPDLED. They are compatible with many dimmable LED lamps and LED light fittings and are ideal to retrofit onto many existing wall plates (or they can be fitted onto original equipment manufacturers' own plates). Taking a load of max. 250W, the LED dimmer with rotary dimming control and push ON/OFF switching can be used in both 1-way and 2-way switching circuits, and the adjustable spindle on the back of the product allows you to specify the minimum dim level (to help eliminate lamp instability). LED Dimmers - We're Almost There! Looking at the technical specifications of all these LED dimmers we can all agree that we are almost there when it comes to LED dimming. There are many dimmable LED lights and LED light bulbs, and there are quite a few LED dimmers made by reputable manufacturers. However, when someone asks us, What LED dimmer should I buy? - we don't have an exact answer YET. The most recommended thing to do at the moment is to check with the LED light manufacturer's specifications and see which LED dimmers and brands they recommend. Some LED lights don't work with some LED dimmers, while some LED dimmers work only with some LED lights. Always read the specifications. Always check with the LED lighting manufacturer. We are almost there. We're almost at the point of no return, where ALL the dimmable LED lights will work with ALL the LED dimmers. Until then....read the specifications! Question: what do you guys think? Which work with what? What's the situation with the LED dimmers and the dimmable LED Lights? What is your experience? Leave us a comment below.